At the edge of the Feather River an 800-year-old African xylophone will kick off the self-proclaimed “first fresh-air full-moon freak-out of the year,” or simply The Bobolink Music Festival.
This two-day tour of music genres will be played out on two stages Friday and Saturday at the Belden Town Resort, about a 90-minute drive from Chico. Tickets are $20 for one day, or both days for $40 and camping.
Acts range from the bluegrass of the Mad Cow String Band to the latin of Delta Nove to the techno and trance stylings of Zilla to the African xylophone rhythms of Mandeng Djeli.
The one thing that won’t be lacking in this show is talent. Show coordinator Azariah “Z” Reynolds said these bands were selected from a larger pool, which helped ensure the quality.
“Every single one of the bands that we booked is some of the best musicians you’re going to find on the touring scene,” Reynolds said.
Another common quality these acts have is their lack of corporate ties in the music industry.
“None of them are pushed by any big labels or anything like that,” Reynolds said. “They’re totally independent and take care of their own business and in control of their own future.”
The festival is in its first year and takes its name from the bobolink, a bird that has a high-pitched and dynamic sound.
According to the National Zoo Web site, the bobolink’s song is “a mad, reckless song-fantasia, and outbreak of pent-up, irrepressible glee.”
One band with its own distinctive song is Delta Nove. What sets it apart from the mainstream is that all the band members are schooled in Brazilian percussion.
Guitarist Bobby Easton said that spring is when these kind of indoor/outdoor festivals come out and open up people’s eyes to the full music spectrum.
“This kind of musical diversity brings people together,” Easton said. “It gives them a chance to hear what they wouldn’t hear from their favorite band.”
Another group that will be performing is Spindrift. The band has been together nearly five years and recently released its first album. Spindrift’s musical repertoire covers “pretty much anything that suits our fancy,” said Matt Lauer, acoustic guitarist.
Spindrift has more of a tight-knit family atmosphere compared to most bands.
“A lot of the time when we’re out on the road we’ve got our ladies with us and it ends up being more of a vacation than a tour,” Lauer said.
Lauer said he hopes to achieve one of his goals in the near future. His plan for world domination by acoustic guitar is in its final stages.
“It’ll be fun though–a peaceful world domination,” Lauer said.
Veering back toward the festival, Lauer said he is anticipating the group’s role on Saturday.
“We’re going to get the second day of the festival started right, get people boogying out of their tents and have a good time,” he said.
Whether the festival is a success will be settled at the ticket booth, Reynolds said.
“We feel that every time we get a good amount of people together, they’re kinda creating something out of this,” he said.
“By buying a ticket, they own it–whatever they put in as far as their own energy as far as dancing and being social or just being able to get away a little bit from what they do in everyday life.”